Someone once said “Dogs have owners, cats have staff”. For anyone who has owned both dogs and cats the comparison is totally accurate. Your dog thinks you ARE the world. Your cat, in many cases, may or may not acknowledge your existence- unless you are using the can opener.
I love being the owner of dogs but cats are the topic for today. Because cats are a lot like customers. Cats require that you earn their loyalty, and keep earning it- and they may still throw up on the rug – cats- not customers, that is.
So what can entrepreneurs learn from cat owners?
Be consistent. Just as your cat prefers a type of food and on-time feedings, nothing turns off a client more than not being able to get what they have gotten from you in the past- things like product quality, level of service, availability, and ingenuity.
Don’t take their attention for granted. Any time you approach your cat it’s all new- you may get the head bump and purr or you may get a swipe and a yowl. Anytime you connect with a customer they may be ready to buy, or just checking in or hoping to get some information. And there is no way of knowing- but if a customer is contacting you- make it count- even if they don’t make a purchase, make sure they leave feeling that you are there for them.
Keep earning their loyalty. Despite a steady diet of the fanciest cat chow- a cat will often turn its’ nose up at an everyday delicacy- often for no reason at all. This is when a pet owner or an entrepreneur has to up their game. Come up with something different. Offer a treat or gift as a way to say- thanks for being a client and to remind them you are still there.
And they may still leave. Cats, like customers, will often light out for reasons of their own. Something new, or changing needs and then – they are gone. There is nothing that you can do to prevent this 100% of the time. But by providing world class products and services, by innovating and being present for your current clients, you will gain new clients through referrals and word of mouth.